The foundation of a healthy life, part 10: how do you stick to your life choices?

The foundation of a healthy life, part 10: how do you stick to your life choices?

In part 10 of The foundation of a healthy life series we are going to talk about sticking to life choices. The secret of staying true to yourself and your life choices can be pretty simple. Realising that it is your life and that you are not accountable to anyone as long as you do no real damage to others is the key. When I say ‘doing damage’ I do not mean someone feeling offended by your actions. There will always be someone who claims to have insulted. That mainly says something about that particular person.

You are not responsible for the feelings of others. They’re responsible for those themselves. And yes, I know that, to some people, this is easier said than done. I tend to be like that myself. I often feel the urge to please people. However, when you see, really see what being a pleaser does to your life – and finally realise that it’s impossible to please everyone – you can no longer NOT see it. You can continue on the chosen path, but only knowing perfectly well that you its yourself you’re letting down.

Looking back everything makes sense

Looking back, it’s all so clear. I can now see exactly at which points in my life I was in charge and exactly where I gave the reins back to the world around me, because it was easier to try and live up to expectations.

The great thing is: the pattern that I now see so clearly shows that, over the years, it has become more and more me and less and less the world who rules my life. Now that I have seen how things work, I can’t ignore that knowledge. I can’t help but either take responsibility for my choices or change the situation.

Compromising is not a big deal, as long as it’s a compromise you can stand behind

Don’t get me wrong. Doing everything exactly the way you want to and having a family at the same time is impossible. One of my biggest balancing acts nowadays – one that my husband and kids perform just as well – is how we make it work well for everyone. That requires continuously talking with each other, adjusting course where necessary and, above all, not being afraid of what the outside world thinks about it all.

It is okay to compromise, as long as it’s your compromise. There is a big difference between feeling like you being forced to do something and having chosen to do it yourself. You can already tell from the auxiliary verbs. The first option shows you are passively present in the relationship, in the second you are active.

A person who’s there for herself is also there for others

The funny thing is that, once you are enough at home in your own skin to  completely choose yourself, you can be all there for others as well. Sounds contradictory doesn’t it? But it isn’t. Organising your life the way you need it, is part of really loving yourself.

When you truly love yourself, you want yourself to have a nice life and you’re willing to swim against the current to achieve that life. If, at this point, you’re ready to go your own way despite other people’s contrary opinions, we can assume that you consider yourself important enough to fight for. You love yourself.

From that position it is easier to help others. Those who love themselves have a different view of the world. They don’t need external validation. They don’t need to do stuff to make them feel loved. Thus, the one who loves herself can love others without a hidden agenda. This makes it easier to be there for others.

You help others because you want to and not because you feel obliged to. That makes a world of difference. Loving yourself doesn’t make you selfish, it makes you more loving, not just toward yourself but toward everything around you. I’m convinced that there would not be as much crime, pollution and other man-made misery as everyone would love themselves.

More on this topic in the next blog